2 Cautionary Tales for Dating After 50 - dummies

2 Cautionary Tales for Dating After 50

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

Many people over 50 are afraid to date people they don’t already know because doing so seems inherently unsafe. After all, the person you’re meeting could have malicious intent. Apprehension and caution are understandable. Scammers, players, and some people with low impulse control are lurking — and yes, there are a few genuine crazies, too.

But the overwhelming majority are folks like you who are lonely, honest, and looking for someone special. Yes, some of them may fib a little about their height, weight, or age, but only a tiny percentage of the millions of online daters are people you have to watch out for.

You can prepare for the worst, but you’re unlikely to be with anyone who even causes you to worry, much less threatens you. The old saying about a little prevention being worth a pound of cure is spot on. Here are two scenarios to remind you to have caution when dating again.

The downsides to dating a coworker

Meeting someone at work can be a sticky situation when the person who seemed fine in the office turns out to have some significant downsides, as the following story shows:

Marlie was sitting across from Stewart in the company lunchroom when he started talking to her about an article he was working on that he thought she might be interested in. She was interested in the article but even more interested in him.

An attractive man, well dressed with glamorous streaks of white at his temples, he had been a senior editor at her magazine before he was promoted to another magazine owned by the same corporation.

Talking to him was easy and stimulating, so she asked him if he wanted to come by her place for a drink after work. He couldn’t do it but said that he’d like to come after an early business dinner that night that wouldn’t be too late. But by 10 p.m. he still hadn’t appeared or called, so she decided he wasn’t coming and turned off the lights.

About 11, she woke up to insistent buzzing from the condo intercom system. When she asked who it was, a very drunken, slurred voice came across the intercom, and it took her a minute to realize it was him. She was put off by the hour and the drunkenness, and she told him she was sorry but it was too late for her to see him.

He unleashed a stream of profane insults, and she hung up on him. They avoided each other in the cafeteria after that.

Don’t let your guard down completely at dinner parties

Be cautious with people you meet at dinner parties. Just because you’re interacting with this person at a mutual friend’s house doesn’t mean the person is being honest — despite flirting with you like crazy. Case in point:

Dave met Rosie at a dinner party. She was with another guy, but she seemed very interested in him. She ignored her partner and turned to Dave all night. At the end of the dinner, she slipped him her phone number and said to call. He did, and they went out for coffee a few times and then dinner.

They kissed after the dinner, and he was looking forward to getting more serious about her when he mentioned the growing relationship to the host of the dinner party. As he was talking, he noticed that his friend’s expression was somewhere between skeptical and incredulous.

When Dave asked what his friend was thinking, his friend said, “What are you thinking? Don’t you know that Rosie is engaged and getting married next month?” Dave was dumbfounded. When he called Rosie, she said, “I thought you knew! What’s the harm in a little flirting? Are you upset?” He was more than a little upset; he felt humiliated and very disappointed.

The moral of the story? Some people like to flirt even when they’re unavailable. So do some checking and don’t wind up like Dave!